The road to becoming a financially wise woman is no different from that of becoming a physically fit woman. Swap calories for cash and you are well aware that you have to sacrifice something in exchange for long-term results.
More often than not, the first expenditures that are often sacrificed by female entrepreneurs include:
Beverages—wine, martini’s and coffee
Self care, including massages, haircuts and that weekly Pilates class
Time off. Vacations, staycations. Anything that does not require an electrical outlet and powered device.
While we can justify the first three sacrifices, sacrificing the last two can actually backfire on a financially wise woman.
You see, financially wise women understand that while budgets can be quite beautiful, failing to invest in resources that pay off over the long-term can ultimately lead to frustration, inability to turn profit and result in burn out. There is good news. Yes, you will have to sacrifice some expenses (fancy meals–out, high-priced hair cuts–bye, designer hand bags—admire them in magazines) to ensure you can cover your monthly overhead (rent, cell phone, internet, insurance, fuel, car payment, you get the point). But you don’t have to stress. You will need a plan as well as some goals so let’s get those going for you, shall we?
Money Rules by Jaclyn Mullen
Pick one thing you will allow yourself to keep as an incentive. Mine happens to be Starbucks coffee. I need one cup daily and I am not willing to cut that out. But that high-priced hair cut? Adios. I go to a beauty school instead and my hair is fine. What is your money must? The one thing that doesn’t give you a pit in your stomach or make you compute just how many hours you had to work in order to buy it? Allow yourself one money must a month. ONE. No more, no less.
After you have identified your “money must” start looking for ways to save. Shop at a less expensive grocery store or Costco. Look up some recipes online and cook yourself a gourmet meal. Leverage your memberships for discounts. AAA, Military, even Nordstrom’s and Victoria’s Secret. Memberships have their perks so be sure to use them to save, save, save. Every little bit counts.
Price your expenses with three different vendors. Whether traveling, looking for dry cleaning or obtaining printing for my business, I believe in the magic “Rule of 3.” Three quotes from three different providers. I accomplish this with airfares through Kayak, which pulls up Priceline and Orbitz. If I require transportation to the airport, I price the shuttle versus the city run fly away versus a cab or paying for a friend’s fuel. Sure, it takes a small time commitment to shop around. But we’re trying to save every hard working dollar you earn to help for your long-term net worth.
Challenge yourself. It can actually be A LOT of fun to see how much money you can save in a month. REMEMBER, you are sacrificing and saving now to have money in the bank down the line. As soon as you have acquired enough of a cash cushion and your business is trending towards profitability, you will be able to lighten up the reins and scale back from sacrificing.
All in all, financially wise women enjoy the present moment while securing the best outcome for their long-term future. Both require a commitment, and life will present additional sacrifices down the line as we have children, grandchildren and so forth. The key is to embrace the opportunity in the present moment to build up the discipline. There’s no sense in stress, just make sure you assess your financial situation and goals frequently.
This post was contributed by Jaclyn Mullen, “The Jaclyn of All Trades.” As the Chief Operating Officer of Jaclyn Mullen Media, Jaclyn juggles a variety of active roles including online buzz builder, content consultant, business development and creative strategist as well as inspirational, entrepreneurial coach for clients in the arts, entertainment, media, lifestyle/beauty and social enterprise sectors. This year, she is even adding motivational speaking to her repertoire. Connect with Jaclyn—http://www.linkedin.com/in/jaclynofalltrades. Jaclyn Mullen is not affiliated with Perennial Financial or LPL Financial.